INVITE | Lunchtime seminar by Ramesh Srinivasan | 22 Sept | 12noon

Thursday, 22 September, 2022 - 12:00

WiSER invites you to a lunchtime seminar (with lunch) on

Technologies of Life:Embracing the Interconnections between People, Beings, Past, Present, and our Dreams

Presented by Ramesh Srinivasan

It seems like today is a time of anxiety and perpetual crisis - one shock after another producing a numbing effect - with an effect of supposedly greater fragmentation and alienation . From the profiteering versus suffering associated with COVID-19 to the false choices offered between neoliberalism and neofascism, we live in a time where it has become easy to assume that conflict, opposition and apathy if not perceived ill will (from others) are here to stay. In-group/Out-group binaries proliferate across media, old and new, and models such as game theory have only increased in their supposed salience to describe choices and behavior. 

A huge aspect of the dawn of such thinking can be tied to digital technologies that target us as psychographic and data-bodied *individual* subjects. These are systems that monetize and support the most powerful investors and execs on our planet while leaving the rest of us to live in bubbles of hysteria, facilitated by dopamine-inducing algorithms that choose the sensational and outrageous. These borders don’t just lie with social media, which has come to take over our news, telephone and media networks, but also in AI systems and invasive biometric technologies that fragment us based on traumas of the past, inducing racist, sexist, classist, and geographic forms of division. 

Yet is such the inherent destiny of technology, let alone our people and planet? Is this what technology truly is, let alone has been? It need not be, I argue, through examples I provide from around the world along with philosophical and conceptual tools that re-imagine systems of all kinds, recognizing that another world is not only possible, it is already here

This talk paves the way for new sociotechnical utopias that ask us to question what it means to be human and more importantly alive, and whether we can truly develop relationships with one another (humans and non-humans) based on mutuality and the underlying spirit and belief that we are all in this together. Far from starting and ending in the domain of speculative theory, I will share numerous examples that point a path forward toward interbeing and interconnection; one that celebrates rather than eradicates or obfuscates different ways of knowing, being, and believing.

Thursday, 22nd September 2022 12noon In-Person – WiSER Seminar room

  Chaired and with a commentary by Iginio Gagliardone

Ramesh Srinivasan is a professor at UCLA in the Information Studies and Design/Media Arts department.

WISER Research Theme: